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3 ways Google Maps just got better

A new For You tab and Your Match score use machine learning to personalize Google's mapping platform.


Google Maps has mapped over 220 countries and territories in the world and now has over a billion users. But that doesn't mean it can't improve.

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In addition to the new ability to text people your ETA, the search giant announced a trio of new features on the stage at Google I/O, coming in an update this summer: 

  • A new tab in Maps called For You, designed to tell a user about trends and events happening in the area. It also lets your favorite small businesses "alert" you for sales and other events.
  • A Your Match score uses machine learning to combine what Google knows about a location with information you've added yourself, such as your ratings, travel history and interests.
  • You'll be able to create a shortlist by long-pressing on places, such as restaurants, and then easily share that list with friends. People you share with can vote on places in real time.

In a future version of maps, a virtual guide could appear.

James Martin/CNET

Google also demonstrated a potential future feature for maps. Using augmented reality technology, a map can overlay the camera with directions and animations -- including a virtual guide that looks like a fox, for example -- for an augmented, real-time street view. No timing was given for when it might debut.

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